Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Interview: Chicago producer Tony Trimm

By Rachel Angres

Tony Trimm's Sugar Via Motor
Tony Trimm is an electronic producer from Chicago who has released two collaborative albums with rapper Serengeti. He is also one-third of the band Yoome along with Serengeti and singer-songwriter Renee Louise Carafice, and has produced the theme song for Hannibal Buress' Comedy Central special "Animal Furnace" and scored a documentary about the comedian titled "A Week to Kill."

Trimm began producing music for Serengeti in 2006, his moody and ethereal beats lending much leeway for the rapper's eccentric and existential style. As a collector of analog synthesizers and vintage drum machines, Trimm has crafted a purist approach to production and sound. Although his music may often sound like ambient soundscapes, he tends to build on a climatic structure more beat-centered than experimental.

His solo debut, Sugar via Motor, is out this month. He explains, "I feel like my studio is an engine with all these interchangeable parts that make sweet sounds." When talking about finishing the album he says, "The hardest part about doing any kind of art is finalizing. I had at least 100 unfinished beats I had to choose from. Thankfully a lot of my friends are talented musicians who helped me put the final gloss on some of these tracks." Featured guests include Josiah Wolf of WHY?, Bryan Herweg of Pelican and Serengeti.

Trimm will be taking off on a month long U.S. tour with WHY?, and Serengeti on August 24. He answered a few questions for WCR in advance of the tour:
WCR: Name, what you do and an interesting fact about you?

TT: Hi. My name is Tony Trimm, and I do beats with drum machines, synthesizers, field recordings, pots, and pans. I have also been practicing praying mantis kung fu for about three years now; so, I am sort of a “man-tis.”

Strangest venue or gig you have ever played?

I played a spot called the Bottle Tree in Birmingham, Alabama a few years ago. It wasn’t strange in a bad way. It was actually pretty awesome because it was totally different from everywhere else we were on that tour. The green room had a vintage arcade and massage chairs and the backyard had two streamliners for the artists to sleep in; also, there was a bucket of clean socks.

What is the most memorable concert you have ever attended?

Amon Tobin has played live at the Congress last year. That crazy cube monstrosity is next level. I could not believe what I was seeing! Actually it’s a close tie between that show and the show I got to hang out with Mogwai backstage at the Metro this year... those guys are bad motherfuckers!

What are a few items essential to your “tour survival kit”?

A field recorder, toothbrush, tea tree oil, R. Kelly's “light it up” tour DVD, cologne, clean underwear, pocket square and a man purse to put it all in.

If I could have ___ for eternity, I would be content.

I would have my own tropical island

If you could only keep one of the five senses, which would you keep?

I would keep my sight... living in darkness terrifies me.

Who would be your featured soundtrack artist in your biopic?

I would choose Serengeti on raps and Advance Base on beats.

Rumor has it you have quite the green thumb, Tony. Care to elaborate?

Gardening comes from my father; he’s the old Asian man in the garden staring at his plants with his hands crossed behind his back taking in deep breaths and in total peace.

Your album: Sugar via Motor is a collaborative effort, how do you decide who to work with and what works with what?

It has always been a friendship thing. If we get along, then naturally the music will work. If I hang with someone long enough then it naturally happens. I try not to force things. I've had more failed attempts at collaborations than I’d like to admit. But hey, there is no use crying over spilt Horchatas and sometimes... that’s just the way the chorizo crumbles.

1 comment:

  1. I have a couple of good songs here too lol www.soundcloud.com/Marqueese see ya there lol